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Super Bowl, Big Bang Theory among 2016’s most-watched TV programs in Canada

You may notice that there’s a whole lot of The Big Bang Theory episodes among Canada’s 25 most-watched programs of the year.

We’ve written about the show’s popularity before — in terms of ratings, the show is about 240 per cent more popular in Canada than the U.S. — and not only is it Canada’s most popular TV series, it’s such a phenomenon that first-run episodes outrank major events like the Summer Olympics, Grey Cup and the Golden Globe Awards.

However, not even Big Bang could come close to the total viewership of February’s Super Bowl 50, which drew an audience of 7.372 million — the Super Bowl is perennially Canada’s most-watched program — down 12 per cent from the previous year.

The second most-watched program was the Chris Rock-hosted Oscars, which drew 5.654 million viewers — up 2 per cent from the previous year.

The Tragically Hip
   The Tragically Hip Supplied publicity photo, Universal Music Canada, 2016

Placing below a few episodes of Big Bang was the final Tragically Hip concert, which placed sixth for the year, drawing 4.327 million in total viewers.

It’s one of just two programs in the top 25 that didn’t air on CTV — and the only program not broadcast by Bell Media (the owners of CTV and TSN).

Other notable programs in the top 25 include the Super Bowl Pre- (#11) and Post-Show (#18), the 104th Grey Cup (#21), and the Ricky Gervais-hosted Golden Globe Awards (#24).

'The X-Files' with series stars (from left) Mitch Pileggi, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and William B. Davis
   ‘The X-Files’ with series stars (from left) Mitch Pileggi, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and William B. Davis Supplied publicity photo, CTV/FOX, 2016

Just missing the top 25 was the Summer Olympics Closing Ceremonies (#26, Aug. 21) on CBC, which drew 3.226 million viewers, and the debut of the re-launched The X-Files (#27, Jan. 24) on CTV, which drew 3.048 million viewers.

Here are the top 25 most-watched TV programs in Canada for 2016:

RankProgramAMA 2+
1Super Bowl 50: Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers7,372,000
CTV, Sunday, Feb. 7 — 6:39 p.m.-10:23 p.m.
2Academy Awards5,654,000
CTV, Sunday, Feb. 28 — 8:30 p.m.-12:06 a.m.
3The Big Bang Theory4,560,000
CTV, Thursday, Jan. 7 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
4The Big Bang Theory4,470,000
CTV, Thursday, Jan. 14 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
5The Big Bang Theory4,428,000
CTV, Thursday, Feb. 4 — 8 p.m.-8:32 p.m.
6The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration4,327,000
CBC, Saturday, Aug. 14 — 8:30 p.m.-11:17 p.m.
7The Big Bang Theory4,275,000
CTV, Thursday, Feb. 11 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
8The Big Bang Theory4,266,000
CTV, Thursday, Feb. 25 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
9Big Bang Theory4,251,000
CTV, Thursday, Mar. 31 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
10The Big Bang Theory4,186,000
CTV, Thursday, Feb. 18 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
11Super Bowl 50: Pre-Show4,092,000
CTV, Sunday, Feb. 7 — 6 p.m.-6:39 p.m.
12The Big Bang Theory3,984,000
CTV, Thursday, May 12 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
13The Big Bang Theory3,979,000
CTV, Thursday, Oct. 27 — 8 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
14The Big Bang Theory3,972,000
CTV, Thursday, Mar. 10 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
15The Big Bang Theory3,968,000
CTV, Thursday, Dec. 1 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
16The Big Bang Theory3,934,000
CTV, Thursday, Apr. 28 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
17The Big Bang Theory3,901,000
CTV, Thursday, Apr. 7 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
18The Big Bang Theory3,874,000
CTV, Thursday, Nov. 10 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
19Super Bowl 50: Post-Show3,798,000
CTV, Sunday, Feb. 7 — 10:23 p.m.-10:54 p.m.
20The Big Bang Theory3,767,000
CTV, Thursday, Nov. 3 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
21The Big Bang Theory3,696,000
CTV, Thursday, Apr. 21 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
22Grey Cup: Ottawa Redbacks vs. Calgary Stampeders3,646,000
TSN+,  Sunday, Nov. 27 — 6:40 p.m.-10:18 p.m.
23The Big Bang Theory3,600,000
CTV, Thursday, Nov. 17 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
24The Big Bang Theory3,371,000
CTV, Thursday, May 5 — 8 p.m.-8:31 p.m.
25Golden Globe Awards3,353,000
CTV, Sunday, Jan. 10 — 8 p.m.-11:06 p.m.
Content Creator
Robert J. Ballantyne is a senior editor at Popjournalism and Creative Director at Previously, he was a journalist at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star

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